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The Clara Perkins Schneider Scholarship

In 2008, Jan Perkins (KU MPA 1976) established the Clara Schneider Perkins Scholarship Fund to assist and encourage young people to pursue local government management as a career. Jan has a strong belief in local government as the best way to foster democracy and the well-being of all people in our communities.

The scholarship is named in honor of Jan’s grandmother (pictured at right), Clara Schneider Perkins.

Clara was born on September 9, 1904 near a hamlet called Wilder, Kansas, south across the Kaw River from Bonner Springs in Johnson County. Wilder had a post office, a one or two room schoolhouse, and a small Santa Fe Railroad Station. Clara had a strong and enduring faith in education. She took business courses after high school and then a number of courses at Kansas City University (later UMKC) in English, philosophy and literature. She inspired her two sons, Courtney and Samuel Parker, to continue their education after high school. Courtney obtained a B.A. in History from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in New York. Parker graduated from the Kansas City Community College. Clara had a successful real estate career in the Johnson County/Kansas City area.

Jan knows personally the value of scholarships. She was helped by scholarships at KU, first as an undergraduate by living in Watkins Scholarship Hall, endowed in the name of Elizabeth Watkins, then as an MPA student through the Mary Morrill Litchfield Scholarship. Jan believes strongly in the value of an MPA degree from the University of Kansas – and the commitment that the KUCIMATS have demonstrated to fostering professional local government management and in supporting each other. She hopes that the Clara Schneider Perkins scholarship will be another small way to help future local government managers provide the leadership our communities need.

Jan Perkins is an ICMA Credentialed Manager, a former city manager, ICMA Senior Advisor, and Board Member of ICMA’s Women Leading Government. She serves as Partner with Management Partners, Inc. Jan completed the initial endowment for the Clara Schneider Perkins Scholarship, assisted by contributions from her brother Mark Perkins (KU MPA 1989) and her uncle Courtney Perkins. Jan plans to continue to build the fund in the coming years.